Publisher: Torquere Press
Length: 68,955 words
Purchase: Torquere Press
In a world where shape shifters are openly bisexual, vampires have insatiable sex drives, and warlocks emit pheromones that make everyone around them horny, Zander Knight is finally making sense of his new life and family.
Just when it seems like Zander’s life is about to settle down, two new threats emerge. The first is in the form of FBI Agent Jonas Hunt, and the second is a pact of shifter scientists called the Dae. If that weren’t enough, he and Tau are now the primary caregivers of Waverly and Quay’s orphaned baby boy, and some of his closest friends are dead in the middle of working out their own love lives. This is more than just one warlock’s love story – this is a supernatural adventure.
Jonas and Harlem were horrified at the remains they found in the woods in upstate New York.
“This is worse than I could have imagined,” Harlem said as he took photographs of the dismembered body. The area had been roped off with yellow crime tape and staffed with guards until Jonas and Harlem’s arrival.
“I think it was animals that ate him,” the portly police officer said. Jonas and Harlem ignored the man and moved to examine the crime scene more closely.
“What do you think?” Jonas whispered to Harlem.
“It’s hard to say. These remains look more human than the others, but there is something weird about the exposed brain matter. The parietal and occipital lobes of the brain seem to be reversed, and there is an indentation in the center of the frontal lobe,” Harlem said.
“What about the attack?” Jonas asked.
“It really looks like this poor guy was attacked by two creatures—one that ate away at his flesh and one that sucked blood from his neck,” Harlem said.
“You aren’t saying what I think you are saying, are you?” Jonas asked.
“I think we are dealing with the supernatural,” Harlem whispered.
“Harlem, not that shit again. I’ll admit that these recent findings have all been a little strange, but there has to be some other explanation,” Jonas said.
“Then what is it?” Harlem asked.
“I don’t know,” Jonas said, frustrated.
They were both startled when the hefty officer popped up behind them. “I don’t know what happened to this fella, but he sure was a lucky man right up until he got killed,” the officer wheezed.
“Why do you say that?” Jonas asked.
“It looks like the animals ripped his dick off and left it over there in the brush. This fella had a mighty big wanker on him,” the officer added. Harlem rushed to go look at the severed penis with Jonas right on his heels.
“Why are you in such a hurry?” Jonas whispered to him.
“I just want to see the…evidence,” Harlem said.
“There it is, right there—looks just like a fat baby’s arm,” the officer pointed out.
“Oh, damn,” Harlem said as he took his forensic kit and carefully placed the thick dick in a medium-sized plastic bag.
“Can you give us some privacy here with the crime scene,” Jonas said to the officer. The officer looked offended but walked back up the path toward his squad car without a word.
“If you are through playing with dicks, then maybe we can finish with the crime scene,” Jonas spat.
“I have to play with all the stray dicks I can find since I don’t seem to have a man,” Harlem snapped.
“That’s not fair,” Jonas said.
“Let’s not start talking about what is and isn’t fair,” Harlem said. Jonas sighed.
“Do you really believe in werewolves and vampires?” Jonas asked, changing the subject.
“I’m a scientist. I believe in facts,” Harlem said. Jonas sighed again.
“So what do we do now?” Jonas asked.
“I think we need to take photographs, collect the rest of these remains, secure any additional clues, and get back to the lab,” Harlem answered. Jonas rubbed his forehead and looked up at the trees. There was one tree in particular that was bent as if it were about to reach down and grab them both.
“Does that tree look strange to you?” Jonas asked.
“It kind of looks like an old woman picking up something,” Harlem answered.
“This case is starting to freak me out,” Jonas said.
“As soon as we tell our bosses about this, they are going to move us off this case and try to take all the credit,” Harlem said.
“So what are you suggesting?” Jonas said.
“I’m suggesting that we take this to the media and try to make some money. I have a friend who’s a tabloid news reporter in Atlanta. I’ll see if he can run the story for us. Once we make the news, we will have every tabloid in the country coming after us for more details…with more money,” Harlem said.
“We will also lose any professional credibility we’ve got and get reprimanded for leaking information on the case. Hell, we might even get fired,” Jonas said. Harlem was looking for any reason to spend more time with Jonas, and this was the perfect excuse. It was business.
“What if we swore my friend to secrecy but gave him enough information to confirm our story? You know how news reporters pay their unnamed sources,” Harlem said.
“Do you think he would pay us for the story?” Jonas asked.
“Maybe if we promised to give him the exclusive,” Harlem said.
“How much do you think we could get?” Jonas asked.
“Maybe enough to go on that trip we’ve been talking about,” Harlem said. Every time Harlem suggested they go away, Jonas said he couldn’t take money out of his bank account because his wife, Juliette, might get suspicious. And when Harlem suggested that he would pay for the entire trip, Jonas said that he just couldn’t let him do that.
“How long do you think it’ll take us to finish with this crime scene?” Jonas asked.
“It’ll be a while. There is a lot here,” Harlem said. He would do just about anything to extend his time with Jonas, even if it meant a little white lie.
“What is a while?” Jonas asked.
“At least six more hours,” Harlem lied.
“That means we won’t be able to catch a flight out until tomorrow,” Jonas said.
“I guess we’re going to need to get a hotel room, then,” Harlem said, pretending to examine the crime scene.
“I’ll go ahead and book us two flights for first thing in the morning. There has got to be a decent hotel somewhere near here,” Jonas said.
“You do that,” Harlem said. He would have preferred that Jonas not be so anxious about getting home, but he was glad to have just one night away in a hotel with him.
“The sooner we can get started, the sooner we will be done,” Jonas offered.
“Okay,” Harlem answered as he studied the bite marks on Banning Cabiness’ corpse and the claw marks that had literally torn his flesh from his bones.
“Who are you? What is your deal? I’m going to find out your story if it kills me,” Harlem said to the dead body. Of course, there was no answer.
Meet the Author: Shadrach Octavio Walker, a.k.a. Shad O. Walker, has always been an avid fan of all things science fiction and fantasy. It wasn’t until he realized that there were no significant fantasy or paranormal series featuring LGBT characters of color that he created his first groundbreaking series, One Warlock’s Love Story (OWLS).
Armed with multiple degrees, numerous life experiences, and several writing awards, Shad remains as elusive as the vampires in his series’ House of Aleph with writing as powerful as the shifters in its Alpha pack. Supported by a coven of loyal readers, Shad is sure to take the literary world by storm.
Inspired by the creativity of Octavia Butler, storytelling of James Baldwin, and passion of E. Lynn Harris, Shad is at the forefront of an entirely new expression of science fiction and fantasy. Excerpts from the series were originally posted on a social networking site that gained Shad a solid and loyal fan base. What started out as a desire to create and share a new kind of fantasy turned into a dream come true with the release of the first installment of One Warlock’s Love Story titled All Knight Long. Follow Shad and the One Warlock’s Love Story series at www.shadowalkermedia.com.
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